Bathed in the warm light of the setting sun, Vienna's imperial Schönbrunn Palace provides a romantic setting for this open-air concert held shortly before the final match of the Euro 2008 football championship. And shining even more brightly than the palace are the stars of the evening, Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazón and Plácido Domingo.
Netrebko "beguiles the audience" (Neue Kronen-Zeitung) with a heady rendition of a number from the operetta Csárdásfürstin and lets herself be swept off her feet in a waltz with her duet partner Plácido Domingo. The great tenor himself regales the audience with his "golden tones" (Die Presse) and "vocal youthfulness" (Süddeutsche Zeitung) in excerpts from Massenet and Wagner. He then mutates into a baritone in the friendship duet from Verdi's Don Carlos with Villazón, who "dazzles with bravura arias," (Wiener Zeitung), duets and a fiery zarzuela encore. And in an emotional homage to Vienna, the trio performs the immortal "Wien, du Stadt meiner Träume." Other gems include Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Rose and the Nightingale," Lehár's "Meine Lippen sie küssen so heiss" and "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz," Ponchielli's "Dance of the Hours" and John Denver's "Perhaps Love." The singers are accompanied by the "fabulous Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien with its excellent conductor Bertrand de Billy." (Kurier).